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East Hampton Lifesaving station to open as museum

A historic lifesaving station in Amagansett will open as a museum Saturday after going unused for more than a decade.

The restored 115-year-old Amagansett Life-Saving Station will showcase the history of the U.S. Lifesaving Service — an agency that eventually became part of the U.S. Coast Guard — and host the administrative office of the East Hampton Town lifeguards, said David Lys, president of the Amagansett Lifesaving and Coast Guard Society.

“It was a community focal point for years,” Lys said. “It’s really been a community restoration.”
The station was built in 1902 and used by Lifesaving Service and members of the Coast Guard who patrolled the beaches and rescued people from shipwrecks. The station was decommissioned in 1946 and was “pretty much abandoned” until 1966, when town resident Joel Carmichael purchased it, trucked it up the road and made it his personal residence, Lys said.

After Carmichael died in 2006, his family gave the station to East Hampton Town at a cost of $1. It was relocated to its original spot the next year.

Though the building is owned by the town, the nonprofit Coast Guard Society pitched in to oversee the restoration, which began in 2012. The project cost an estimated $1.6 million and had donations from celebrities such as Alec Baldwin, Robert Downey Jr. and Candice Bergen, Lys said.

The opening ceremony will be at the station between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.

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